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We're in good hands but the Covid cases opened our eyes - Bonner

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Donegal manager Declan Bonner. Photo: Sportsfile

Donegal manager Declan Bonner. Photo: Sportsfile

Donegal manager Declan Bonner. Photo: Sportsfile

The sight of Dr Kevin Moran's number flashing on his iPhone screen gives Declan Bonner a "cold sweat."

The Donegal manager has outlined the concerns of looking after a team in Covid-19 times.

Donegal host Tyrone this weekend in Division 1 as inter-county makes a return after a seven-month hiatus. Donegal have already had their own Covid-19 outbreak in the squad.

After just one night of training in mid-September, Donegal's players had to restrict movements for two weeks after three players tested positive for the coronavirus.

"We were just back in, the first session was done and then all of a sudden we were missing another two weeks," Bonner said.

"In hindsight, it definitely opened our eyes in terms of what can happen. Dr Kevin Moran is on the committees in Croke Park that oversees this.

"We were in good hands. You have to take a lot of individual responsibility. You can see what's happening at international level and at professional level across the water. These cases are not going away. They're just multiplying each day."

Protocols

Donegal have implement new protocols at their training base at the newly-developed Donegal GAA Centre in Convoy.

Players train in groups of four. The same groups of four are split between four dressing rooms to shower afterwards with a 15-minute limit on their time inside. Those who live in close proximity to Convoy come togged out and leave without entering the dressing rooms.

Bonner said: "We're breaking the groups into smaller pods as it's easier managed then. We've all been tested a couple of times.

"There's no doubt that in the Six Counties, it's fairly strong as it is along the border counties, Donegal included. Cases are continuing to rise. Every individual needs to be responsible for their own actions.

"These guys then have to go back home, some are working, some are teaching, Gardaí, meeting other people so it cannot be watertight. We can only do the best we can. There is going to be cases and there's going to be challenges ahead.

"Anytime I see Dr Moran's number come up on my phone, I go into a cold sweat. That is a daily occurrence. Touch wood, everything is under control and we're looking forward to the match now."

The long lay-off has enabled several players return to fitness again with Oisín Gallen, Jason McGee and Paddy McGrath all fighting fit again.

However, defender Conor Morrison will be a long-term absentee after rupturing a cruciate during the Donegal SFC.


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